L'OTAN doit être sauvé

Ceux qui pensaient que l'OTAN, cette expression la plus fructueuse de la solidarité transatlantique, avait trouvé une nouvelle cohésion après la crise de l'Irak, qui avait créé des divisions, devraient visiter le siège social de l'alliance. Il est vrai que le sommet d'Istanbul fin juin a créé un vernis d'harmonie et que le siège social de l'OTAN s'occupe, comme à l'accoutumée, avec des réunions fréquentes regroupant désormais 26 délégations nationales, d'innombrables comités et l'énorme pile de papier imprimé qu'elle produit rapidement. Il manque toutefois un aspect essentiel : l'esprit de l'OTAN. Un grand nombre de membres, pour ne pas dire tous, ne considèrent plus l'OTAN comme indispensable à leur intérêt national.

Pour reprendre les termes d'un haut fonctionnaire, l'organisation ressemble à la vieille voiture abîmée que l'on garde tant qu'elle fonctionne mais dont on se débarrasse quand les réparations deviennent trop coûteuses. L'ancien véhicule peut encore servir : il dirige quelques 6 000 troupes en Afghanistan, assure une sécurité fragile au Kosovo et peut, comme l'a décidé l'OTAN en juin, former les forces irakiennes. Il est encore bon d'avoir l'OTAN dans les parages. Mais, à l'exception de ceux qui viennent seulement de la rejoindre, quelques gouvernements des deux côtés de l'Atlantique semblent craindre une catastrophe majeure si elle disparaissait doucement.

Telle est la cause de la crise majeure que la plus ancienne et la plus fructueuse alliance du monde moderne doit désormais affronter, et non la brouille des alliés majeurs sur la guerre en Irak. Les différences politiques sur l'aventure irakienne de l'Amérique ont exacerbé la crise, mais ont également obscurci sa véritable cause.

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